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Maternity support workers FAQs

Maternity support workers FAQs

Who is eligible to join?
The eligibility definition is “A person whose role is to support the work of the midwife in the care of childbearing women, the newborn and their family who is employed in a role which supports midwives in their workplace”.

Could a Nursery Nurse join?
Yes. A nursery nurse working in a maternity unit, for example, would fulfil this definition.
Could a non-practising midwife join the MSW category?
Yes as long as they are no longer registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). If a midwife or a nurse is on the NMC Register then they will need to be in a category of RCM membership that provides advice and representation in the event of a NMC referral.

What benefits will MSW members be entitled to?

  • Representation and employment relations support

  • Personal accident insurance

  • Medical Malpractice Insurance (£5 million)

  • Access to member areas of RCM website and resources including i-learn and i-folio 'Midwives’ magazine and Ezines

  • LV= insurance discounts and independent financial advice

  • Free legal service

  • Voting rights and Branch membership

  • Maternity and paternity leave subscription waiver 

What learning opportunities and resources will the RCM provide?
The RCM has published a Maternity Support Worker Learning and Development Guide to assist in the identification and provision of learning and training for MSWs.
The RCM also uses its influence at National, Regional and local level to widen the range of educational opportunities for MSWs.
A network of Union Learning Representatives has been  established to support MSWs and midwives to identify their learning needs and to access training.
What subscription will MSW members pay?
The subscription will be £107.88 annually or £8.99 a month (29p a day).  
Could an MSW member be appointed as the RCM General Secretary?
No. The RCM General Secretary is required to be a practising midwife.
Could an MSW member become a member of RCM Board?
Not currently but once MSW membership reached a significant number it would be appropriate for there to be seat(s) for the MSW membership category.
Will MSW members have full voting rights?
Yes. Under the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 RCM members cannot be excluded from voting unless they are not in employment, are in arrears with subscriptions or students (section 50(2)).
Will MSW members belong to a RCM Branch?
Can they hold a Branch Officer role?
Can a MSW be elected as a Workplace Representative (RCM Steward, Health and Safety Representative, Union Learning Representative)?

What is the RCMs position on the Agenda for Change banding of MSW posts?
The RCM supports the deployment of Maternity Support Workers (MSWs) into job roles that support the role, function and scope of practice of the midwife.  MSWs must not be used to substitute for midwives or to cover shortfalls in midwifery staffing. Where MSWs are deployed into the midwifery team the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay band for the post must correctly reflect the role that they are undertaking.
MSW posts can be banded at 2, 3 and 4. Job evaluation principles must be adhered to when banding MSW posts. It is wholly inappropriate and contrary to the principles of the Agenda for Change Job Evaluation Scheme to place MSWs on a lower band when they are performing duties commensurate with a higher banded job profile. Where such practice is brought to the attention of the RCM it will be challenged.
To undertake clinical care a MSW must be Band 3 or 4.
Where can I receive further information?

Membership enquiries should be directed to the membership team membership@rcm.org.uk and further information can be obtained from Denise Linay, RCM Head of Organising and Engagement denise.linay@rcm.org.uk

To join as an MSW member click here.